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Zebra and Quagga Mussels threaten the SK River Basin

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Katherine Finn

on 27 October 2014

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Transcript of Zebra and Quagga Mussels threaten the SK River Basin

Suncor Oil Refinery: Uses 9 million litres/day (~50%) from Edmonton's Gold Bar waste water treatment facility

Uses a membrane filter to remove larger particles from water

Recycled water is sent along a 5.5km pipeline to the refinery.
Refinery Row
Aquatic Invasive Species: Zebra and Quagga Mussels
Zebra Mussels have been confirmed at Gimli and Winnipeg Beach, Manitoba in October 2013.
They are so small, what's the big deal?
Zebra mussel
Quagga Mussel
Zebra and Quagga Mussels, native to Russia, came to North America from Europe on sea-going vessels

Zebra Mussels arrived in Canada, in the Great Lakes in the 1980's
If they find their way into the SK River Basin, there will be significant environmental, economic and social implications
Ecosystem Before Zebra Mussels
Credit: www.caryinstitute.org
Zebra Mussels suck! They are voracious filter feeders that consume tremendous amounts of microbial organisms: which are important for larvae and juvenile fish
Ecosystem After Zebra Mussels have been introduced
credit: www.Caryinstitute.org
They are also prolific reproducers. Females can reproduce after 6-7 weeks. Producing 30,000-40,000 eggs per reproductive cycle. Over 1 million per year.
They attach to anything solid in the water, including boats, water intake pipes, and other native mussels and crustaceans.
Lake Diefenbaker is made in part by the Gardiner Dam. There is significant infrastructure to keep flows operating smoothly. Coteau Creek Hydroelectric facility operates in conjunction with the dam.
Coteau Creek facility has 3 Francis turbine generation units
Examiner.com, Arizona Game and Fish Department demonstration of how Quagga mussels clog pipes.
Zebra and quagga mussels can cause serious damage to recreational boats. This is also the most likely means for them to spread.
Let's talk solutions:
The province also piloted Sniffer dog to help detect mussels.
They are sharp and can cut feet. This may be troublesome to beaches, tourism, and tourists.
What are some of the potential
Environmental impacts
What are some of the potential
Economic Impacts
Suncor Oil Refinery
you can imagine what 5.5 km of this would cost to clean?
How much would this cost to clean?
Water Treatment facility
What could Quagga Mussels do to this infrastructure?
Social Impacts
The Government of Saskatchewan has developed a brochure and posters for boat launches. Promoting the "Clean, Drain and Dry your boats"
Developed a response plan, focused on communication and education initiatives.

Summer of 2014 MOE completed Veliger sampling at 5 lakes in SK. Tobin, Pasqua, Echo, Mission and Diefenbaker.
MOE hired AIS coordinator, Collin McQuire, to develop a rapid response plan and expand capacity.
The Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve also mobilized an AIS working group to assist watershed groups and the government in delivering education and awareness.
In spring of 2014 they printed a 'Stop Mussels" flyer for major distribution at Cabela's in Saskatoon and Regina.
Moving forward they will be sending a representative to the USA for a "train the trainer" course to be brought back and delivered to the Saskatchewan Association of Watersheds.
Across Saskatchewan, Watershed organizations have the means to engage people and assist in the education and awareness.
Alberta is being proactive in prevention of AIS. Estimating the annual cost of Zebra and Quagga mussels at $75 million they have appointed coordinator, Kate Wilson to head the campaign.
Inspection sites have been established at Burmis, Coutts, Dumore, Vermillion and some Provincial Parks.
This summer, 2500 inspections were completed. Of the 99 high risk boats, two were found to have Zebra Mussels.
Government of Manitoba has spent $1million in education and advertisements to help prevent the spread of Zebra Mussels
Potash has been used to try and eradicate the mussels. There has been some success, but veligers continue to be detected in the waterways.
The Government has expanded to have 5 decontamination units at high traffic boater sites.
Quagga Mussels have made their way in from the West Coast.
Mussels have the potential to impact other agricultural infrastructure such as irrigation
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of mussel shells
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